Does it seem like the world has really gone to the dogs lately? If you've answered yes, you're right. It has gone to the dogs -- and to the cats. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, approximately 68 percent of American households have a pet. Millennials are especially into animal companionship, with 73 percent saying they own some type of creature. And many of these millennials are searching for their first home. But not just any house. Potential buyers, especially millennials, are seeking a home that will provide a better lifestyle for their fur babies. In fact, according to a survey conducted on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, one of the main reasons why many millennials decided to purchase a home was so that they could provide more space for their dogs.
So, if you're currently trying to sell a house or plan to put one on the market, creating a listing that appeals to pet owners is the smart thing to do. For example, if your home has any of the following pet-friendly features, make sure to highlight them in your listing:
- Fenced-in yard
- Located close to a dog park or pet-friendly establishments, such as restaurants that host "barky hours"
- Pet-friendly flooring that can stand up to a dog's claws, such as tile or luxury vinyl
- Located in a community with lots of walking trails
- The mudroom is where an owner can towel off their dogs or clean dirty paws after a walk in the rain
Keep it Clean
While it's important to play up the features of your home that will be attractive to a pet owner, it's equally important to remove evidence of your own pets before putting your house on the market. For example, you should:
- Put away your pet's toys, beds, and food bowls during showings and open houses
- Clean or replace carpeting that has odors or stains caused by your pet
- Vacuum daily
- Clean your upholstery if your pets spend a lot of time sleeping on your furniture
- Board your pets or remove them from the premises during open houses and showings. If that's not possible, make sure that they are created in an out-of-the-way location
- Wipe off pet nose and paw prints from windows and doors
- Keep your yard clean and free of dog waste
For many people, their dogs and cats aren't just pets. They are beloved family members. So, it's not surprising that potential buyers are seeking homes that are pet-friendly. Your job is to make sure that these potential buyers can see your house as a place where they and their beloved pets will feel right at home.